Fandango’s Friday Flashback: September 18

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: September 18

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year…How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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The following post was published September 18, 2018
This surely feels like a lifetime – not just two years – ago.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge – Light and Dark

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by “Dutch goes the Photo”

The theme this week is “Light and Dark”

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A few years ago…for a brief 3 months, we rented a very small condo across the street from a stretch of Hampton Beach in NH.

It was a temporary home while we waited for our new condo to be finished…after  downsizing from almost 37 years in a 3 bedroom house.  In the interim, we stored most of our belongings and essentially moved twice. First to this rental! It was a stressful time of uncertainty, planning, paperwork, scheduling, packing, unpacking, working…oh and hosting Christmas with 3 more adults and a sweet baby.

However, this cozy oasis on the coast proved to be just that…an oasis in the midst of life’s chaos. Breakfast watching the sun rise. The stunning late afternoon light as the day ended. From dark to light and back again.

The view from any window had been more than enough to calm and restore my rattled self during that mini-chapter of life.

I took this photo the day we left.
One last look.

IMG_3387

To listen or not to listen

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #107: listen

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Breaking News! – more bad stuff happening everywhere!

Well, technically, that’s NOT what is announced nightly from my television. But it might as well be…as an earnest news anchor rattles off the News Headlines Of The Day when the show begins. She leaves the one bright spot – a friendly citizen delivering food to a neighbor or making someone smile – for the last 5 minutes of the broadcast. Saving the feel-good news for the end.

So…I ask myself…why do I listen at all? To the TV reports. To news radio. I jokingly (but not really joking) reply…well maybe there will be a cure! a solution! a miracle! Either that’s a sign of my foolish hopefulness or unfortunate naivety. I guess I want to know what’s (mostly) going on. It’s the continuous not knowing that I find so hard to live with.

So I turn on the news and try to pick up on what positives I can. There must be something hidden between the lines to hold on to. If I pay close attention.

However…what would I rather listen to?

The sound of waves hitting the beach. It’s predictable and calming and I don’t have to pay close attention.

This video of Hampton Beach, NH is from last year. Now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is next to impossible to access the beach in person. Too many people. Not enough parking.

I could listen to this all day.

 

Where’s the beach?

BeckyB JulySquares: Perspectives

OneWordSunday: Distance

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distance beach
September 2019
Hampton Beach, NH

It was a hot day last September when I parked the car in the state beach lot – looking forward to a nice long walk along the sand. I stopped for a moment next to the restrooms and glanced toward the beach.

Except where was the beach exactly? At first glance, I was reminded of Maria at the opening of “The Sound of Music.” The hills are alive and all that.

Thankfully, in my case, these hills weren’t those kind of hills…but alive all the same, as they were roped off to protect the endangered Piping Plover population.

Fortunately, a sandy walking path – a short walk to the ocean – was just around the corner.

Lens Artists Challenge: Summer

Lens Artists Challenge #104: Summer

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“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

Up until 2020, summer was a fairly predictable time of year. I could plan trips and get togethers with friends and family…without a second thought. Including return visits to favorite summer festivals and fairs.

I painfully realize now how much I took all of that for granted…thinking oh we can come back next summer…when the 2019 schedule got crowded. This summer…it’s all cancelled.

I actually look forward to the seasonal chore of storing away sweaters, hats and mittens. And then dragging out the “summer clothes” from a high closet shelf. Pulling out shorts, T-shirts and sandals. Ready For Summer.

Well, I can still switch the clothes around…but that’s about it.

However…thinking back on life “before”…

During my earlier days of parenthood, summer always included extra family time together with my children. Camera always in hand.

Nothing fancy. Sometimes just day trips…

summer93 copy
York Wild Animal Kingdom, Maine 1993

For over 20 years we established a family tradition. A week away…to connect and just enjoy each other. Most vacations were only a 90 minute drive to a special place on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. The last 2 were cross country on the California coast.

summer2000 copy
San Diego, California 2000

Fast forward about 17 years…and summer included the next generation…

beach summer
Hampton Beach, NH 2017

During the 36+ years we lived in a house with a yard, we delighted in beds of flowers that exploded into life every summer.

One of our favorites: black eyed susans…

black eyed susans
We have continued one summertime activity through the years, despite moving to a condo and emptying the nest. Picking fresh blueberries! They are amazing when eaten within hours (or days) of being picked.

One of our neighbors, where we used to live, let us pick from his carefully tended bushes. Now we visit a local farm that has a “pick your own” field of blueberry bushes. Fortunately you can still do this during a pandemic by following the posted rules: Wear a Mask and Social Distance.

No Problem.

Here is this week’s harvest…

blueberries
Fresh New Hampshire Blueberries

They taste just like summer.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Delicate Colors

Lens-Artists Challenge #98: Delicate Colors

As many countries are opening up a bit from lock-down, and I was inspired by the soft glory of spring nature in my part of the world, I thought we would indulge in some Delicate Colours!

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Delicate colors bring to mind a few old favorites. As well as some new discoveries.

A uniquely shaded rose. A painter’s palette of sorts. It was part of a birthday bouquet several years ago.

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A walk on the beach in 2016 – right before sunset – showcased nature’s delicate balance of colors. I can’t wait to get back to visit.

hampton beach
During a recent walk I stopped to admire a neighbor’s extensive front yard garden. It is expertly planted so flowers bloom constantly throughout spring. Much appreciated and admired.

IMG_3044
I spotted crocuses during a walk downtown along the river in April. They appeared to be hiding next to a concrete wall. Bent over in the wind.

delicate crocus

A few days later they were gone.

Perched On Top of the World

BeckyB April Square Tops

I am hoping our April theme will keep our heads held high and help fill our lives with social connections and squares filled with joy….The theme is top, and you don’t have to go outside to find topping squares…Create your post with a square photograph

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SixWordSaturday

gull on top
Hampton Beach, NH
March 2020

A chilly day at the beach a month ago…which now feels like many months ago.

A seagull surveyed the beach from the top of a light pole. Most likely looking forward to the return of warm weather visitors. Tourists settled in canvas chairs. Books open. Umbrellas up. Sand castles under construction. Spreading their beach towels on the sand…along with an endless supply of sandwiches, snacks and drinks.

This seagull and its buddies are going to be waiting longer than usual for their pick of the leftovers this season.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 17

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: April 17

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year….Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post is from April 17, 2018

Two years ago…when the beach was open.
It is now closed.
I look forward to the predictable again.

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the beach

Here is where I want to be:

hamptonbeachnov2016.jpg

It has been raining for 2 days; puddles and small lakes forming everywhere I look out my windows. The grass disappearing underneath. The sun hiding behind stubborn clouds.

As soon as it clears and the sun comes out…and it warms up a bit, that’s where I’ll go. My favorite place to walk. It fills me up; its peace, its soothing sounds – the ultimate room with no doors, no walls – infinite space.  There is power in the ocean – an energy, a purpose. The tide goes in and goes out. Predictable. Not much in life is that predictable.

Often I pass by small children digging holes – trying frantically to avoid the waves that ultimately wash away their castles. Joggers of all shapes and sizes. Dogs run and jump despite the “no dogs allowed” signs. Couples pose for selfies; the ocean at their backs. A lone walker will stop and stare at the horizon. And nobody bothers her. I get it. It is hypnotizing and calming and energizing all at the same time.

Seagulls run up and down the sand. They stop. They look around, shake their heads as if bored. Same old, same old.

Lens-Artists Challenge #87: Reflections

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #87: Reflections

…we invite you to be creative to find any reflective surfaces to show us your reflection photographs.

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My most recent favorite reflection happened in January during a walk on the beach. The tide was lower than I’d ever seen before. The afternoon light caught the clouds above while the beach transformed into a mirror.

Magical.

I had driven to this beach with an overwhelming need to clear my head. Walking along the ocean…listening to the waves hit the shore…the blue sky meeting the water in a far off horizon.

It never fails me.

january clouds
Hampton Beach 2020

A few years ago I caught this moment during a walk close to sunset.

beach sunset
Hampton Beach 2016

Last summer, reflections appeared on a pond at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

vermont pond
Shelburne, Vermont 2019

This past week has been quite difficult on a personal level…which drove me to the beach again yesterday. No reflections this time…but these photos brought it all back.

The peace. The calm. The comfort.

Gotta love the power of the images we capture – as they transport us back to a healing moment in time.

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(I resisted inserting the Supremes rendition of Reflections, as it kept going through my mind while writing this post…it’s funny how songs just pop up at the most unexpected times)